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My blogger name reflects that history, as âpihtawikosisân literally means ‘half-son’ in Cree.

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Names like L’Hirondelle, Loyer, Callihoo (spelled a million different ways), Belcourt…those were a dead give away that someone was related to me somehow.

But aside from the odd family story that didn’t interest me as a child (but fascinate me now as an adult), I knew very little about our regional history.

In another post, I talked about Pan-Indianism, and also Pan-Métisism.

What this post and those previous two have in common, is that they are about identity.

In a previous post, I described what it is like as an Alberta Métis to come to Quebec and realise that ‘Métis’ does not mean the same thing here.

I’m not a shut-in…I realised that there were different definitions out there, I simply hadn’t lived where I was by them before.So when I stopped being ashamed (a longer story there) and started to feel a I turned towards the concept of a Métis national identity.That is when I started learning about a larger history than my own poorly understood, ‘boring-anyway’ regional one.I am going to ‘get personal’ so that people cannot effectively twist my words later and use them to deny others who feel that they too are Métis.I am going to speak for myself, not for all Métis peoples.The topic of Status was a much easier discussion, because I avoided delving into identity issues in order to give you the bare bones legislative context.Trust me, there are much larger identity discussions yet to be had on ‘who is an Indian’. This is probably going to leave you with more questions than answers, but I do hope that your perception of the question itself will have shifted.You, my egg-nog drinking friend who thinks it’s appropriate to quiz me on my ‘background’ are using the little ‘m’ definition. This is the category I’ve encountered most in Quebec.As a racial category, one is little ‘m’ métis when they are not fully Indian or non-aboriginal. This is not the only term that was used, we were also called half-bloods, half-breeds, michif, bois brûlé, chicot, country-born, mixed bloods, and so on.More important, I’d argue, than just knowing the state of the categories right now…but you have to start from somewhere! If I have any academic readers, I apologise in advance for bringing up debates or issues that some academics think are settled, or should be moved past.Whether or not I agree, the fact is that most Canadians have not been a part of these mostly internal discussions. His eyes snap back and he’s got a skeptical look on his face, “Oh,” he says, sounding disappointed and perhaps a little triumphant to have found a fake, “so you’re like, a quarter Indian?

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